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Transparency: Politics influenced distribution of additional budget funds

TRANSPARENCY International Slovakia (TIS) accused the government of political nepotism in the distribution of additional tax worth Sk400 million (€10.31 million) paid to the state budget by U.S. Steel Košice.

According to anticorruption watchdog TIS, the state paid the money largely to towns and villages whose mayors are members of, or are close to, the current ruling parties, the daily SME wrote.

Although the mayors of towns and villages who are members of the ruling parties constitute only 21 percent of all mayors, 60 percent of the recipients of the additional tax money are from the ruling parties.

According to Emília Sičáková-Beblavá, the president of TIS, this is an example of misusing central power to support local politicians and virtually buying their loyalty towards the ruling parties.

The Finance Ministry, however, rejected the TIS conclusions.

"Nothing is secret, the whole procedure is in line with legal norms," said ministry spokesman Peter Papanek, according to the SITA news agency.

Compiled by Martina Juriová from press reports
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